Make a To Do List - First, make a list of all the things you have to do. Put down everything, even the things you're going to do anyway (like cleaning your bedroom or doing the laundry).
Prioritize Your Work - Rearrange your tasks in level of importance so that the important things are at the top and the least important ones are at the bottom. (Avoid procrastination.)
Rearrange Your List – This will be interesting. Reorder your list so that the job in first place looks important, but isn't. Make it the kind of job that you have to do some time, but it doesn't really matter when (a job you can put off easily
without getting into trouble).
When you procrastinate and avoid doing that important-looking job, what you end up doing will be a more important one.
For example, your list of tasks for today might look something like this: Review NCLEX study guide section 2; Take NCLEX practice test on Chapter 3 content; Read through notes; Check email
Here's how you do it:
Write out a List of Everything You Think You Have to Do. Put everything on this list, from reviewing last week’s NCLEX practice test to putting out the cat. What are the odds that you'll keep to that schedule at the end of the day?
Putting all the things you need to remember on paper rather than trying to carry it around in your head can help you drop half of your test stress and anxiety. You'll probably sleep a lot better at night and worry a lot less about forgetting important things you have to do tomorrow.
Highlight the Three Most Important Things On the List. Now cut your schedule down to a realistic size and complexity. Now follow the previous lesson about procrastination to list the three most important tasks that you want completed by the end of the day and ignore everything else. Decide what tasks that are 1/4 of the items on your list that will give you 3/4 of the results you're looking to achieve. Don't confuse movement with achievement. You need to focus on the results you want to achieve for the day, not a bunch of activities.
Make A New Schedule. Now create a brand new schedule that only has those three tasks on it (or 1/4 of the activities that give you 3/4 of the results that are most important to you -- like passing the NCLEX).
You may say that you have a lot more than three things to do! Yes you do, but you must choose the top three things that, if completed today, would move you closest to your goal of doing well on the NCLEX exam. This strategy has tremendous power of focus that will yield the greatest progress towards your goal of a great NCLEX score.
Your schedule won't have more than three things on it: At 8:00am, review part 2 of the NCLEX study guide. At 9:00pm, review anatomy index cards. At 10:00pm, do the practice questions in the NCLEX Comprehensive Success System.
Obviously, you're going to do a lot more than those three things. You're also going to look at your emails, watch CNN, make yourself some tea and have lunch. Maybe even call your dad.
Complete 100% of Each Activity Before Moving to the Next. Make sure you do activity number one first thing (before reading the news, checking your e-mail, etc.) and see it to 100% completion before starting on activity two. Do activity two to 100% completion before starting activity three.
You're going to do those things no matter what else happens. Whether the kitchen is cleaned today won't have much impact on you in one year, but passing the NCLEX will. Only the truly important things, like reviewing part 2 of the NCLEX study guide, need to be put on your schedule.
Work in Blocks of Uninterrupted Time. Turn off your phone and put a do not disturb sign on your door. Communicate to others that during certain blocks of time, you can't be disturbed. You absolutely need uninterrupted time to fully concentrate on the task at hand when you're doing your top 3 items for the day.
Every time a phone is answered, or a person comes in to chat, it wastes a lot of time. Then it takes even more time to get back to where you were. This destroys your productivity and jeopardizes your success.
Remember our discussion of procrastination? Even if you do procrastinate, you'll simply find yourself doing the NCLEX practice test in the morning in order to avoid reviewing Chapter 2 of the NCLEX study guide, or working on a practice test in the afternoon when there's nothing left to do.
You can start today, and tomorrow guarantee that you will pass.